How to make website navigation effective?
Navigation on any website is a very important aspect one should never ignore. It is going to help your visitors to explore your website effectively. Well, not only that, but it also increases your SEO score with a proper sitemap. Navigation makes it easier for search engine crawlers to index your web pages easily and effectively. In this article, we are going to see how to make website navigation effective.
What is Website Navigation?
Let’s begin with the definition.
The process or activity of accurately ascertaining one’s position and planning and following a route.
Referring to the definition, we can surely say that navigation consists of two parts: determining one’s position and the direction the one will take from there onwards. But of course, you need a goal too. Without a goal, navigation on any website is just like aimless wandering.
Now, let’s talk about navigation on a website. Navigation on a website would simply mean leading your visitors through the content of your website. It plays an important part in converting your visitors into customers as well. You would want them to consider using your services, make a purchase, subscribe to your blog, and so on.
There are some important elements that play an important role in making your web navigation effective. Let’s understand them first!
Important Elements in Effective Web Navigation
Your theme is the visual representation of your website. It is a part of your identity and you would want your identity to be pleasant and reassuring. However, you wouldn’t want to choose a theme just because it looks good. It should be a functional theme as well. A functional theme makes the navigational experience richer and more enjoyable through colour schemes, layouts, and animations.
A clear, well-organised theme makes navigation easier. It will help your visitors to explore your content, find resource links, and jump to their desired pages. On WordPress or WooCommerce, there are a bunch of popular themes available. Know the best themes you can build your website in our article.
2. The main navigation bar:
The main navigation bar generally rests under the header or on the header of a website. Every website needs one unless you are owning a one or (sometimes) three-page website. It really depends on how you want your visitors to navigate through your content. But, it is generally a good idea to have a clear navigation bar on your page. For example, take a look at our navigation bar below.
This is our navigation bar on the desktop version.
On the menu bar, you can see that we are currently on the home page. See how our navigation bar and the selection accent (the green line under Home) also matches with our theme?
Below is the example of our navigation section on the mobile version of the website. In the left image, do you notice the three lines on the top right corner beside the telephone icon? That’s where our menu bar is hidden. Click/tap on it and our navigation section opens.
Those three horizontal lines are generally called ‘Hamburger Menu’. In 2021, people generally understand what a hamburger menu is. So, we believe, despite what others say, that a hamburger menu is indeed effective and useful in making your web design doable and attractive.
Ultimately, the key to an effective menu bar is being clear and organised. Let your users know where exactly they are navigating by being transparent about it. Don’t clog your navigation bar with all the links. Just put the importance once: links and content you want your users to see. You can simply use a footer to list other links as well.
A footer is literally a treasure trove of useful navigational links for your website. Although the main purpose of having a footer is to provide a neat, organised sitemap for the crawl bots, it works wonders for human navigation too.
It is often a bad idea to clog all your website’s navigational links in the menu bar, as mentioned previously. This is where a footer comes in handy. A Footer exists to organise your links and content. You can put additional links in there, the ones you could not fit into the menu bar.
For example, Digital Lime Green offers way more than the main services mentioned in the Service tab. Adding all of our services into our menu bar would have made it look congested. Besides, it would have mildly affected our site performance also, as it would have taken more resources to load the animation and content in it. So, with the footer, we can conveniently add those extra links to provide more information to you without costing our layout and performance. Scroll down to the end of this page to discover our footer links.
You can call our footer a “Quick Access” section of our website. Digital Lime Green is in the business of website design and digital marketing. Suppose you are a customer who wants to browse around our website. Now, finding our services the traditional way would take a little more time than simply accessing them through our footer.
Try this on our menu bar!
Click on Services > Click on Web Design service.
This entire process would take about, let’s assume, 7 seconds.
Now, go to our footer. You will find the exact same link right there too. Just with a single click, you can directly jump on the exact same page too.
You may ask. Why would we go through a great hustle to add a menu bar then? Imagine you visit a website that is just full of links like that. How would you feel? Exactly! You would feel like walking away from a website that doesn’t care to represent itself. It’s true that a footer is a quick-access section, but the visual representations matter as equally.
One of the most commonly practised methods out there, a hyperlink can work wonders! Blogging has become a common practice for all sorts of businesses. The main purpose is to drive organic traffic and do content marketing on your website. To experience a hyperlink, just click on this text: Google – Do a Barrel Roll. You’ll experience something fun and nice with Google’s search page too!
Digital Lime Green has always believed that it is a crucial practice to provide links in your blog. Link key text in your blog to the sources, other blogs of your own, or to your services and products. It provides more room for your readers to explore. They can use these hypertext links to navigate around your website for more content or to get more information.
Remember, a reader will only read your blog if they are getting value out of it. Mention your data sources, other useful articles on the blog and much more. Make the reader feel like you care about providing them as much information as you can. We have observed that some blogs just refuse to add links, like at all. Don’t do that. On the other hand, it is also important to not overcrowd your blogs with links.
Lastly, stay true to your information. Don’t use a clickbait as it will harm your reputation in the long run.
Implementing effective website navigation practices should indeed be your priority during the design phase of your website. If you make your website navigation effective, then you should see more gain in traffic. Effective navigation will also improve the UX, which ultimately contributes to getting more traffic, better brand recognition and value, a boost with SEO score, and more.
Digital Lime Green can also help you with navigation and other website functionalities. Take a look at our Website Design services here. We provide affordable and quality web design and digital marketing solutions in Cape Town, South Africa.
If you need further help, feel free to reach out to us!
We wish you good luck!